February 22, 2023

Senate passes renewable energy bill for new home construction

The state Senate passed a bill that would require new homes to be built so that solar panels can be installed.

SB 77 originally would have required future homes to be built with solar panels that could provide at least a portion of the home’s electricity.

An amendment made during the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee discussions changed this to require new construction to offer photovoltaic systems. The amendment also requires that new homes be set up to handle charging of electric vehicles.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules, D-Las Cruces, passed the Senate on a 23-15 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Some of the concerns expressed on the Senate floor include increased costs to future homeowners and supply chain delays that have slowed down solar deployment.